‘I don’t believe there was a fight’: Families react as driver faces no charges in fatal MoDOT crash
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - Tonya Musskopf is overcome by heartbreak all over again.
“I just don’t know what I’m going to do. I just don’t know what I’m going to do,” she cried. “This pain is soul-crushing, and I’m sorry to my daughter. I’m sorry that everybody let her down.”
It was back in November 2021 when her daughter, Kaitlyn Anderson, was killed. She was six months pregnant with her son Jaxx. Anderson, a MoDOT worker, was working off of Telegraph Road near I-255 when Stanley McFadden crashed his car into the work zone.
James Brooks, another MoDOT worker, died in the crash as well. A third MoDOT worker, Michael Brown, was left with life-long injuries.
“I am so devastated and disgusted right now with the way this turned out,” said Musskopf.
Musskopf spoke with News 4 over Zoom moments after the St. Louis Prosecuting Attorney’s Office announced that the man who struck and killed her pregnant daughter will not face any charges.
“I just can’t believe it, but then again I don’t believe all the evidence was given to the grand jury. I don’t. I don’t believe there was fight, there was that grit to do the right thing,” she said.
In Alton, Illinois, Michael Brown is also reeling from the decision.
“She was my best friend,” said Michael Brown of Anderson.
Most of Brown’s injuries are on the left side of his body, but he has also sustained emotional pain from losing Anderson and, now, pain from feeling like the system failed them.
“I think that is where most of my anger comes from,” he said.
While the grand jury process is secretive, prosecutors tried to provide information about the investigation into the crash and McFadden’s involvement to help the public understand why the Grand Jury may have come to the decision not to charge him.
A statement from Wesley Bell’s office says in part:
Though 911 callers who saw McFadden driving before the fatal crash speculated that he was a drunk driver, medical records revealed no alcohol or other intoxicants in his system at the time of the fatal crash. His phone records also revealed no use of his phone while driving. In fact, McFadden, who is diabetic, was suffering a medical emergency due to a sudden and severe drop in his blood glucose level. According to several medical experts, his medical emergency resulted in a sudden loss of brain function, not unlike the severe impairment from heavy alcohol consumption.
When the first medical expert we consulted reviewed the medical evidence, she was not supportive of the filing of criminal charges. She drew a comparison to someone who suffers a heart attack while driving which results in a fatal crash, a situation where the driver is not reasonably considered criminally negligent.
McFadden, the driver, was eventually diagnosed with hypoglycemia unawareness after the crash. Prosecutors say an independent endocrinologist says that likely “contributed to his blood glucose level plummeting moments before the crash.”
However, McFadden also into a similar, non-fatal crash in August 2021, which News 4 previously reported. In that instance, medical reasons were also cited as the cause. Prosecutors say they have “no evidence that any medical professional ever advised him not to operate a motor vehicle for the safety of himself and others.”
While Brown did not necessarily know if McFadden would face any charges for his injuries, he had hoped the driver would still be charged for the two other deaths. He believes McFadden neglected to take care of himself and the medical condition he had.
“That was three months before he hit, that’s three months,” said Brown. “He should’ve gone at some point during that time and told his doctor, ‘Hey this happened, we need to figure out what’s going on’.”
Both brown and Musskopf say it is why the Grand Jury should have held him responsible.
“If you have a medical condition at any time, any time, please go to the doctor. You are driving a weapon. Don’t put your life in jeopardy. And don’t put somebody else’s,” she said. “I deserved to be a grandma. My daughter deserved to be a mom.”
However, Musskopf says she feels like the prosecuting attorney’s office also failed her daughter.
“I was expecting them to fight for us, but you can ask everybody in that room Monday, Wesley Bell has no fight in him unless it’s an easy case. And that’s the honest to God truth,” said Musskopf. “My daughter was a beautiful, sweet, loving girl and she deserves [someone] to fight for her.”
In the same statement from the prosecuting attorney’s office, Wesley Bell issued the following:
It cannot be said forcefully enough that not every tragedy is a crime, and this incident is without question a horrible, heartbreaking tragedy. The extensive time we spent developing evidence in this case is ultimately best explained by our fierce fight to bring justice for the victims of this tragedy and their families. While we do not believe that the surviving victim or the families of those who lost their lives will believe justice has been served, we accept and respect the grand jury’s decision.
News 4 asked Bell’s office for an interview in response to the frustration coming from families who have been impacted by the crash. His office says the statement speaks for itself.
News 4 is also waiting to hear back from MoDOT officials about the outcome of the Grand Jury’s decision.
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